quarta-feira, fevereiro 01, 2006

State of the Union

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Attributed to Winston Churchill (though I can nowhere find a specific reference):

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing ... after they've tried everything else."

November, 2000, Bush narrowly defeats Gore.
January 20th, 2001, Inauguration.

(Un) State of the Union, February 27th, 2001

Attack of September 11th, 2001.

President Bush - September 11
Radio Address of the President to the Nation, September 15
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress - September 20
2002 State of the Union Transcript
2003 State of the Union Transcript
2004 State of the Union Transcript

November 2004, beats Kerry.
January 20th, 2005, Inauguration.

2005 State of the Union Transcript
2006 State of the Union Transcript

Surrounded by so many knee-jerks it is hard to know what to think.

President George W. Bush; Vice President Richard B. Cheney; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales; Treasury Secretary John Snow; Interior Secretary Gail Norton; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There are lots of demonstrators, like the fellow at the left, a guy called Steve Dasilva from Toronto, Canada, yelling 'Out of Haiti' at a demonstration marking the beginning of the sixth World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela. But if you follow the tracks of the 'Out of Haiti' call, you find a website, apparently sponsored by a Canadian trade union, CUPE, in which the leftist bias is so clear that I at least am unable to put any credence whatsoever in their message.

The same with ideas like Gaia, so true to me, obvious in a way, and yet discredited entirely by association with soft heads. Check out this essay by Gwynne Dyer: The 100,000-Year Fever.

I was aware of the gassing of the Kurds at about the time it occurred - just by accident, there was someone living in my house who was following the story. So when Bush wanted to go after Saddam I was for it. Then it comes out that there are oil interests and still I am still for it - I do not expect a government to be morally clearer than I am, and I know that all issues have many sides. There has been an election now in Iraq - I think this is a step forward from the days when the Kurds were being gassed, not a perfect step maybe, not a huge step maybe, but a step in the right direction.

I read Bush's speeches just now and it looks to me like one more taxation bureaucracy, but at least it permits some democracy, at least it feels obliged to defend itself in arguments that admit the facts.

In Frye's terms the Hieroglyphic/Poetic age is long over, and the Hieratic/Heroic, and we are well into the Demotic/Vulgar (I hope I have got those straight) and the idiot mob is almost in control. Mother Earth, our lover Gaia, is shaking her back like a dog in the rain. Quite possibly the whole moment of humanity on this planet is nothing more than an opportunity for a look and a kiss - if and when it comes to Apocalypse I for one will go out remembering those kisses.

Meanwhile, let us not talk falsely - the hour is getting late.

This may make some of you laugh, but when it comes to straight talk I would suggest the letter from Pope Benedict: Vatican: Deus Caritas Est. For a guy who is supposed to be celibate he makes a lot of sense to me. Another one who makes sense to me on this subject of love and sex is Roger Scruton; two books, Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation, and Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.

28 Hyde Park Gate,
April 6, 1963

Mr. President (John F. Kennedy),

I have been informed by Mr. David Bruce that it is your intention to sign a Bill conferring upon me Honorary Citizenship of the United States.

I have received many kindnesses from the United States of America, but the honour which you now accord me is without parallel. I accept it with deep gratitude and affection.

I am also most sensible of the warm-hearted action of the individual States who accorded me the great compliment of their own honorary citizenships as a prelude to this Act of Congress.

It is a remarkable comment on our affairs that the former Prime Minister of a great sovereign state should thus be received as an honorary citizen of another. I say "great sovereign state" with design and emphasis, for I reject the view that Britain and the Commonwealth should now be relegated to a tame and minor role in the world. Our past is the key to our future, which I firmly trust and believe will be no less fertile and glorious. Let no man underrate our energies, our potentialities and our abiding power for good.

I am, as you know, half American by blood, and the story of my association with that mighty and benevolent nation goes back nearly ninety years to the day of my Father's marriage. In this century of storm and tragedy I contemplate with high satisfaction the constant factor of the interwoven and upward progress of our peoples. Our comradeship and our brotherhood in war were unexampled. We stood together, and because of that fact the free world now stands. Nor has our partnership any exclusive nature: the Atlantic community is a dream that can well be fulfilled to the detriment of none and to the enduring benefit and honour of the great democracies.

Mr. President, your action illuminates the theme of unity of the English-speaking peoples, to which I have devoted a large part of my life. I would ask you to accept yourself, and to convey to both Houses of Congress, and through them to the American people, my solemn and heartfelt thanks for this unique distinction, which will always be proudly remembered by my descendants.

Winston S. Churchill.

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